10 Things You Wish You Had Known Before Breastfeeding
By Alpro Pharmacy
September 30, 2021
How to care for your breasts when breastfeeding?
WHO had recommended that infants be breastfed within the first hour of life, and continue breastfeeding for at least 6 months before starting to introduce complementary foods into their diet, even up to 2 years and above if condition allows.
But did you know that breastfeeding actually has lots of things that you might need to know during or after the process?
Well, continue reading to know more about them!
Knowing when to feed your baby
During the first few weeks, you will notice that your baby seems to be hungry all the time, and that is because breast milk is easily digested in the baby’s stomach. Hence, you should try and breastfeed them for 8 – 12 times throughout the 24 hours during this period.
Frequent feedings can help your baby to grow healthily and further stimulate your body to produce more milk.
Always feed your baby as soon as you notice they show signs of hunger, and not to wait until the baby cries. Crying usually suggests that the baby had been hungry for some time and will be less easy for them to latch onto your breast.
You can know if your baby is getting enough milk if:
- They gain weight steadily after the first week (100 – 200g per week)
- They make swallowing sounds while nursing
- They look satisfied and burped after fed
- Your breasts feel softer after feeding
- You are changing 6 to 8 wet diapers a day after the first week
- A week after birth, baby stools 3 to 6 times a day
Taking care of your breast
This is an equally important part of breastfeeding as you can’t really nurse your baby if they are not in good condition right? Here are some tips to help you prevent that from happening.
- Wear a supportive bra
Wear them even at night and make sure it fits well while it is not too tight. A cotton nursing bra can be a good option to provide extra comfort.
2. Change breasts pads often
Remember to change them should they get wet. Nursing pads can help to prevent sore nipples, thrush or mastitis.
3. Practice good hygiene
Wash your hands before touching your breasts. Keep your breasts and nipples clean by washing them daily with warm water in the shower or bath. Avoid using soap on your breasts as soap can cause dry, cracked, and irritated skin. It can also remove the natural oils produced by the Montgomery glands located on the dark area surrounding your nipples. These oils help to keep the nipples and areolas clean and moisturized.
4. Prevent sore nipples
After nursing your baby, rub some nipple cream on the nipple and areola and let them air dry. Use only genuine and certified products to avoid unnecessary harm to the nipples.
If you are having some difficulty in producing enough milk for your baby, then you might want to consider natural foods such as:
Fenugreek belongs to the same family as peanuts and chickpeas and behaves like a mild galactogogue which may help to increase breast milk production.
2. Palm dates
Aside from being packed with nutrients and minerals, they have also been used to increase breast milk production. They are also high in fiber.
3. Brewer’s yeast
Often found in beer and bread, the Brewer’s yeast is also used to produce more breast milk. It also provides energy and many other nutrients to the mother.
As with any herbal supplement, always seek the advice of medical professionals before deciding to take them.
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By: J.S.Chang, Dietitian from VitaPack